August 30, 2016
Owners get smarter about whenua use
A project funded by the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Sustainable Farming Fund has come up with a programme to help Maori asset managers make the decisions that will increase the productivity – and profitability – of their land .
Mana Whenua Project leader Shona Jones, of Hinemanu Solutions, says land managed by Maori trusts is often under-utilised due to the complex ownership structure, unsucceeded interests, or the fact that the land itself may be land-locked or uneconomic in size.
She says while trust boards may reflect the whanau ownership base, what can be missing around the table is a depth of governance, decision-making or financial literacy skills that are important to develop new initiatives.
The project trialed its programme with two trusts that had been leasing or licensing their land to other parties.
Owhaoko C Trust in the central North Island entered a collaborative Manuka honey venture with a commercial partner, resulting in benefits for the land owners such as employment and training opportunities.
It is now looking at a tourism venture on the whenua.
Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com